WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today voted against the confirmation of Pete Buttigieg to be the U.S. Secretary of Transportation over the former mayor’s lack of relevant qualifications and his reluctance during his confirmation hearing to answer questions of particular concern to rural communities.
“Mayor Buttigieg has a different vision for the mission of the Department of Transportation,” said Senator Hagerty. “The mission of the department is to ensure the American people have the best transportation system in the world to increase our economic competitiveness. As the former Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, I understand that transportation infrastructure is vital to economic growth, particularly in states like Tennessee. As America works its way out of this pandemic-driven recession, we need to take every measure to accelerate the implementation of critical infrastructure projects, yet during his confirmation hearing, the former mayor refused to answer questions related to streamlining environmental reviews for projects or other deregulation efforts, which is very concerning for communities across Tennessee, especially rural ones, hoping to benefit from such projects. He also pledged to raise fuel economy standards, which would make automobiles more expensive, and to use the department for social, racial, and environmental justice causes.”